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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Brunch a la Passionflower

I don't usually go in for the blog as advertising vehicle....I think of it as more of a way to share with you what gets my juices flowing....and I don't usually go for photos I didn't take...But this image that just arrived from our beautiful glassware and tabletop vendor Juliska was just way too beautiful to pass up......

It's nothing too fancy....some madelines, a tart and lemonade but it makes me want to put on the biggest, baddest Easter Brunch ever.....alas this year I'm having dinner - leg of lamb, mint jelly, leeks in cream, wild chickweed & arugula salad and I'm not sure what else.
Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Handpainted Easter Eggs at Passionflower

Years ago, when I lived in Portland, I would go to Powell's Books and buy the most beautifully colored Ukranian dyes and writing tools.....Many people don't know this but Mr. Powell (who was a really great guy) was Ukranian and he had a little locked cabinet full of dyes and styluses and wax which he would ceremoniously unlock for you. Then I'd have a big party with friends and their children. We'd make a mess and make some beautiful eggs while we were at it........There was something special about the vivid colored dyes and the way the styluses could be used to "write" on the eggs with wax. We'd write our names and draw maps of the world and scribble bits of poetry on them. Sometimes we'd hang crystals and ribbons from them. It was great fun. Click here to find out more about Ukranian Easter Egg dyeing tools.

These eggs remind me a little of those times.....They're handpainted in Austria and we have them in several patterns.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dried Wreaths at Passionflower

I always love a wreath in the spring time.....to me it symbolizes the circle of life. Here's one a little bigger than the outspread span of my hand....it has eggs, and feathers, and twigs and moss and a touch of blue hydrangea - oh yeah and a little pussywillow.....

Because pussywillow is the harbinger of spring.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Porcelain Happiness at Passionflower

I've been so excited about our upcoming artist's shows that I had my amazing talented graphic designer Cathy Simard play around with making us a few postcards to commemorate the event.
Here's the one she did for Katie......and the one for the Susan Goodwin trunk show is equally as amazing......
That squiggly line of script at the bottom is an e.e. cummings poem.....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Swinging Bunnies & Other Great Easter Gifts

We've been so happy with how things went with the Artists with Autism show that happened in our upstair space last year and then was followed by Barb Campbell's trunk show.....that led to the Objects of Desire Show & so now it's official - We will be using our upstair "attic" space to promote the works of a number of local artists whose work we think fits in with our "look"....And I'd describe that look as whimsical, soulful, and nature centered. Sometimes these shows will be short lived trunk shows and other times, exhibits that might last weeks and sometimes there might be some front window display involved too......This seems like such a win/win to us. Local artists get a rent free venue to sell their work and we get a window or upstairs space that is really beautiful and curated with love and attention. Plus the customer gets a chance to see some really special work.
In April we will be featuring the ceramic work of porcelain artist Katie Swenson...Her hanging bunnies pictured above have been hits at Passionflower for years..... Here's a sneek peak of our front window curated by Katie....or as we like to think of it, this slightly crazed (in a good way) fairy showed up last Friday night and made our front window beautiful.....or perhaps it was someone channeling Beatrix Potter........

These are amazing.....they are jars and the bird on the nest is the lid!!!

Katie has really outdone herself......the window is full of flying bunnies and baskets and birds and everywhere you look there is more and more to see - bowls with poems written on the inside and tea sets and mad hatters. We hope you get a chance to come by and find something special. These are all one of a kind pieces. No mass market here.

And just to give you an idea of scale, here's a photo Lindsey took of the itsy bitsy bunny.

So if a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush......what exactly is the value of a bunny in the palm ?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Katie Swenson Comes to Passionflower

Many of you may know these charming porcelain pieces as a Passionflower staple.....I've always loved these rabbits because sometimes I look at them and they're barely hanging on trying to keep it all together. Other times, they look like they're free spirited and frolicking. To me they're a metaphor for moving through life.....There is something just right about them. I've given them as baby gifts and get well gifts too ......

How lucky for us that their maker Katie Swenson agreed to be our First Friday Artist coming up on April 2nd.........

Lots of beautiful porcelain pieces and she's guest curating the front window.........stay tuned for more posts on Katie & her work.......and click here to go to her website.

Words to Live By

I think it's important what we have by our doors as we come and go from our homes everyday.
When I lived with a teenager there was a mirror at the entrance. This considerably slowed down exit times. Now I have this great hanging I got at Pewter Rabbit Antiques. Shelley thinks it's from an old Masonic Lodge and they probably had a whole lot of them along the walls each with a different virtue.
Courage works for me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tulips at Passionflower Design

Did I say I was going to do a blog post everyday? What I meant was, I'm going to do a blog post every day that the weather isn't beautiful and when my apple trees aren't crying out for a little pruning. Which has left things a little thin on the blog......So, despite our amazing weather right now, I'm tearing myself away from my evening prune and leaving you with these fun and simple tulip arrangements that we did last spring.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rooting Begonias & Other Natural Wonders

I could easily become obsessed and imagine myself with a houseful of vases and jars of various shapes and sizes and colors filled with all manner of vegetation; avocado pits and jasmine vines, willow whips and tropical greenery but instead I'll just channel my obsession into this one little begonia cutting pictured above.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Art & Nature Co-Existing

I'm going to try to do a post a day - sort of like a little blog sketch book.

Shots from my house - late March last year. The magnolia and cherry blossom
in the lower right date the picture.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

La Primavera Returns

Spring is in the air.
I sense a bounty of possibilities.

Ranunculus anyone?
Consider the transformative power of a single bloom.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I love my Screen Saver

You know you're procrastinating when you're searching the web looking for screen saver images .....How delighted was I to find this one......It's from David Gray at Reuters news and it's a traditonal Chinese dancer during the Festival of the Lanterns which celebrates the ending of the two week Chinese New Year Festivities .....
I have learned the hard way that it's useful to have a solid color background on your screen savers - that is of course if you ever want to find an icon.
How delighted I was that the blue of the headress matches almost perfectly the blue of the toolbar.

I look at this image and it makes me want to write great things....I found it on
free people blog. Stay tuned for more screen savers. And send us your favorites.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Finding Inspiration in the Little Things

We always talk about taking a staff retreat and going out to the coast or the woods and making a site specific, found object, artwork - sounds fun. A couple of weeks ago I thought we could make a long, meandering line composed of flower petals - the line would meander parallel to the coast and we'd lay it down during a low tide. Then we could witness the tide coming in and carrying the petals away.

Here is my little still life homage to that idea.
Leftovers from a day's work in floral.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Edward Cullen sends Valentine's Flowers

I didn't know who he was but I knew I liked the guy who was sending the flowers...He threw down a floral challenge & Passionflower responded.....He wanted something "earthy -non traditional, not necessarily romantic ." He described the recipient as "someone with a lot of style -informed by a thrift store look."......Okay I love the word informed to describe an aesthetic.....

He signed it Edward Cullen.

And he had the budget to let us play.

The hellebore seemed just right.

And then Lindsey told me Edward Cullen is a mythical vampire from the
Twilight books and movies.

Even better......

I think we'll add some ladyslipper orchids and fern curls.

Still trying to decide about grey tulle.

Used a beautiful Green Bohemian wine glass (upper left)-

as a vase.

Adding some local goodies.

It had this musky temperate rainforest thing going.

Andromeda, ladyslipper, hellebore.

All set to go.........and we'll collar it with really crinkled up grey tulle.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We've been getting into a plum, purple, platinum, silver kind of mood at the store lately.

Everythings got some color but it's dusty - just perfect for our foggy, grey Oregon weather.

Leave a comment and tell me what colors are working for you these days.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Memories of A Valentine's Day

Cupid was looking for his arrows.

Mother Nature smiled upon us -

The weather was mild and we had lots of great local flowers: quince, and plum, and pussywillow and hellebore

Big Yummy - quince in the middle of February.

We stirred up a little creativity.

And dished up some tasty food.